Did polarization of Hindu votes take place in Uttar Pradesh?

I was invited to Zee News for discussing assembly election results and there I had the opportunity to talk to Arif Mohammad Khan, who once was a state minister and an active politician, famous for being the Muslim face who quit Congress when Rajiv Gandhi, then enjoying a mammoth majority in Lok Sabha, took steps to overturn the Shah Bano judgment to please Muslim fundamentalists.

As trends appeared to settle down and it looked like BJP was all set to win Uttar Pradesh (and it has swept the elections like the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as I write), some people started talking about kabristan-shamshan and “polarization”. Continue readingDid polarization of Hindu votes take place in Uttar Pradesh?

This is why bodies like Muslim Personal Law Board oppose Uniform Civil Code

One of the oft-repeated arguments put forward against Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is that this is against the fundamental right to practice one’s religion. It is argued that the act of the state to legislate in matters, which ought to be governed through religious texts, is an attack on religious freedom.

Outwardly it might appear so, but in practice, UCC doesn’t take away any religious freedom. Yes, it takes away the rights of religious bodies to control a group – and that’s why those who fancy themselves as representatives or leaders of a religion are opposing it – but it doesn’t strip an individual his freedom to follow certain religious practices or rules. Continue readingThis is why bodies like Muslim Personal Law Board oppose Uniform Civil Code

The problem with ‘reforms must come from within among minorities’ argument

Last week, the government took a stand in the Supreme Court against triple talaq, arguing that such practices were regressive and needed reconsideration. Around the same time, the Law Commission of India issued an appeal (pdf link) seeking public consultation on the issue of Uniform Civil Code (UCC). Continue readingThe problem with ‘reforms must come from within among minorities’ argument